The length of time disabled people are having to wait to find out if they are eligible for benefit is unacceptable, says the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee in a report published on Tuesday 18th March 2014.
New claims for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as the benefit to help towards the extra costs of disability for people of working age, began in April 2013.
The majority of people applying for (PIP) undergo a face-to-face assessment to determine eligibility, which is carried out by private contractors and some claims are taking six months or more to process.
The report calls for urgent action to improve the current unacceptable service provided to PIP claimants.
It recommends that:
- Penalty clauses in the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) contracts with the assessment providers, Atos Healthcare and Capita Business Services, be invoked where necessary [paragraph 49]
- DWP clear the existing backlog of PIP claims before reassessment of existing DLA claimants is extended [paragraph 49]
- All necessary resources be devoted to meeting a 7 day target for processing PIP claims from terminally ill people [paragraph 51].
To view the full House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee report click the link below: